Disability Services

For students with disabilities, Centralia College offers support services to help you access programs and services.

How to Get Services

If you have a documented disability, with three steps you are well on your way to getting the help you need.

  1. Apply for services by filling out the Request for Services Form (pdf).
  2. Provide appropriate medical documentation from a medical professional. (Fill out the Consent Form (pdf) and take to a medical professional.)
  3. Complete an intake interview either by appointment thru our office if you are/or will be attending classes on campus or by phone if you are enrolled in an online course of study and/or cannot make it to our office.

Are You Eligible for Services?

All disabilities are medical conditions, but not all medical conditions are disabilities. To be eligible for services, you must provide medical documentation that provides information about a substantial limitation to one or more major life activities, specifically as it applies to meeting the demands of college life, in and/or out of the classroom.

Although some disabilities do not change over time, the medical documentation must address the student's current level of functioning. IEP's and 504 Plans, although providing historical evidence of services and accommodations, are generally not considered sufficient to make a student eligible for services. However, in all situations, every student will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Services may be provided to students who identify themselves as disabled on their college application and request services in a timely manner. Centralia College will, in good faith, demonstrate its willingness to offer reasonable accommodations, provided the student meets the basic requirements to perform activities of the program or occupation he or she plans to pursue. Accommodations are often based on documentation by an appropriate professional.

You have a right to services and reasonable accommodations that allow you to compete on an equal basis as long as you meet basic requirements to perform the activities of a college program.

"No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of any public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any such entity."

"No otherwise qualified handicapped persons shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance."

In most cases, in order to be determined eligible for accommodations through Disability Services, an enrolled student (whether full- or part-time) with a disability/chronic medical condition should present documentation that contains information describing the student’s current level of functioning within and outside the academic setting in the College.

The documentation should be submitted by a professional who is licensed/certified in the area for which the diagnosis is made and who is not related to the student. The report must be presented on practice letterhead and signed by the examiner.

Information for the Examiner

Although this is not intended to be a template, we request that the information set out in this section be included in the report. Additional information needed for individuals with certain specific types of disability is listed in the next section.

  • History of personal, social, medical and education activities as it pertains to the cause for evaluation.
  • Diagnostic statement identifying the disability (ICD-DSM classification).
  • Description of the diagnostic methodology used, including all data from appropriate instruments of evaluation. Information based on "screening" instruments is not acceptable.
  • Description of current substantial limitations as they relate to meeting the various demands of College life. The report should contain a discussion and evidence of impact as it relates to the actual academic achievement (or lack thereof) in the current time period and the past year (indicate any accommodations and/or services provided). Information should also be included regarding the past two to three years explaining how and why the student’s academic performance has, or has not, been affected by the disability.
  • Expected progression or stability of the medical condition/disability.
  • Medication – mitigation of impact and/or (expected) side effects.
  • Co-morbid conditions – if multiple diagnoses are provided, please indicate the primary and secondary conditions and how each affects learning.
  • Explanation of differential or exclusionary diagnosis.
  • Recommendations – suggestions for accommodations should be directly linked to the impact of the disability and associated issues (e.g. medication) and not simply to the diagnosis.
Insufficient Documentation (and/or Evaluative Remarks)
  • In cases where the documentation is incomplete, students will be asked to seek additional evaluation and/or clarifying information from the evaluator/medical provider regarding the documentation.
  • Since the requirements for access in higher education are different than those for high school, IEPs (Individual Educational Plans), 504 Plans, and SOPs (Summary of Performance), although they provide information about a student’s educational experiences, generally are not sufficient documentation to establish that the student is eligible for services and accommodations in an institution of higher education.
  • In most cases documentation consisting only of a diagnosis, case or chart notes, and/or prescription pad notations is insufficient to determine the impact of a medical condition/disability, to address the issue of substantial limitations, and to develop reasonable accommodations.

If a student leaves the college for any reason, upon readmission he or she may be asked to submit updated documentation prior to receiving accommodations and/or services.

Information Needed for Specific Medical Conditions or Disabilities

In addition to the information noted above, please consider and include information about the following issues in reports:

Blind and Visually Impaired: The documentation from an ophthalmologic or optometric report should include as applicable:

  • specific diagnosis indicating current visual acuity
  • near and distant vision (left/right, both eyes)
  • visual fields, with and without corrective lenses

Chronic Medical Conditions: The documentation should explain the current functional limitations imposed by the medical condition.

  • Specific diagnosis
  • Constant or Episodic – frequency and/or duration
  • Medication(s) and possible effects
  • Any other pertinent information that may assist in determining reasonable accommodations

Cognitive Impairments: (Examples: Learning Disabilities [LD], Traumatic (Acquired) Brain Injuries [TBI], Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder [ADHD]) The documentation should explain the current functional limitations imposed by the condition. The following should be included:

  • Explanation of psychological and/or psycho-educational tests used. Indicate all tests data/scores used to support diagnosis*
  • Current medication including: dosage and side effects that the student is experiencing
  • Interviews, surveys and other data collected to support diagnosis

*Re-Evaluation: The evaluator may choose to modify the testing battery for students who have been previously evaluated using instruments that are normed for adults or adolescents and not children. The administration of intelligence measures may not be necessary but the short form of an intelligence test may be acceptable in these situations. This would be the case if the disability is not directly evaluated by these measures and/or if the individual’s scores have remained consistent over time.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The documentation should include a comprehensive audiological report including:

  • a specific diagnosis
  • date of onset (pre/post lingual)
  • current hearing levels, stable or progressive
  • speech reception levels, with and without hearing aids and/or assistive listening devices (ALDs)

Physical/Mobility Impairments: The documentation should identify functional limitations in respect to:

  • Gross or fine motor functioning
  • Whether the condition is permanent or temporary. If temporary, how long? (estimate)

Psychological/Psychiatric Conditions: The documentation should explain the current functional limitations imposed by the condition. The following questions should be addressed:

  • Basis on which Axis I and Axis II diagnoses were made
  • If Psychological and/or psycho-educational tests are used, indicate all tests data/scores used to support diagnosis
  • Current medication including: dosage and side effects that the student is experiencing
  • Short/Long term prognosis
  • Therapeutic interventions, compliance?
  • Educational Implications (be specific about the nature/severity of limitations)

A disability is an impairment (permanent or temporary) that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The major categories of disabilities that the department provides services for include, but are not limited to:

Cognitive Impairment: Information processing issues that are often described as specific LD (learning disabilities) or secondary effects associated with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders).

Visual Impairment: Legally blind (low vision) to no light perception (totally blind); an inability to access printed information without the use of assistive technology or auxiliary aides.

Hearing Impairment: An inability to understand spoken language with or without an assistive listening device or the use of manual communication (sign language/cued speech transliteration).

Physical/Mobility Impairment: Limited, restricted, or effective use of one or more body parts, due to paralysis, loss of limb(s) or arthritis, which may require the use of aids/appliances for independent movement in specific activities.

Traumatic Brain Injury: An acquired injury to the brain that manifests limitation in any of the above categories as well as cognitive impairments.

Chronic Medical Condition: A variety of medical conditions that may restrict a student's full participation in all activities of the College. These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • hematological: hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, acquired immune deficiency
  • respiratory: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis
  • cardio-vascular diseases
  • neurological: seizure disorders, tourettes, migraines

Psychological/Psychiatric: Conditions (other than learning disabilities, ADD, and ADHD) having a diagnosis under DSM-IV. These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • depression
  • bipolar
  • schizophrenia

Centralia College is obligated to assure that programs and facilities of the College are accessible to students with disabilities. Disability Services works with students to provide services and accommodations that ensure students with disabilities have equal access. These services and accommodations are designed to meet the individual needs of the students and are provided at no charge.

If you have a disability/chronic medical condition, we encourage you to complete the Request for Services Form (pdf) and return it directly to Disability Services. Upon receipt of this form, we will request that you provide documentation from your primary care physician or other professional care provider about the disability and the functional limitation(s) it imposes on you while you are enrolled at Centralia College. This documentation will be held in confidence and be used to determine whether you need reasonable accommodations.

What Services May Be Available?

Disability Services provides services and reasonable accommodations to currently enrolled students with disabilities. The college will not lower the standard measurement of competency for any certificate or degree.

Accommodations may include:

  • Priority registration for classes
  • Sign language interpreters for the deaf or hard of hearing
  • Modification of testing (Extra time, quiet location, readers)
  • Alternate format textbooks or reader services
  • Scribes or note takers
  • Ergonomic chairs, desks, keyboards
  • Ability to record lectures
  • Large print
  • Assistive Technology (Dragon Naturally Speaking, Kurzweil, Zoomtext)
  • CCTV, Magnification devices
  • FM System
  • Specialized equipment

CONTACT Disability Services

TransAlta Commons (TAC) Room 208
8am-5pm Monday-Thursday
8am-12pm Friday (closed Fridays in the summer)